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Basic Accounts Decision

In March this year, we removed the option for new users to create new Basic Accounts. Basic Account users today represent the significant majority of our users, and we recognize their value to the LiveJournal community. Unfortunately, at this point we can no longer afford the expense of investing in our services (given the size to which we have grown and the new product features and enhancements we want to deliver as we outlined in our Update to Development Priorities) while at the same time supporting Basic Accounts as they were.

In the recent entry to the lj_2008 community we outlined several advertising options we were considering in order to bring the Basic Account option back for all users. As a reminder, these were the three proposals:

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We received some great comments on our proposals as well as feedback and suggestions on different ways we could continue the level of investments we were making in LiveJournal, its users and communities. To that end, in order to accomplish our stated goals, we are going to implement the following for all current and new Basic Accounts:

  • We will not be reinstating the option to register a new Basic Account, but we will instead offer the ability to downgrade to a Basic Account, via the Manage Account page, as of August 28, 2008. This will also apply to communities.
  • Based on your feedback and after consultations with the Advisory Board, we decided to implement advertising Proposal 1, which means that advertising will be displayed to visitors who are not logged in to LiveJournal at the time when they are looking at Basic Account journals and communities. Users who are logged in to their account will not be shown advertising on any Basic journals or communities.
  • In addition, because of your feedback and concerns about the advertising shown on LiveJournal, we’re working to devise an improved ad feedback mechanism.
  • For the month of September, we will offer a 20% off sale on Paid accounts. Details of the sale will be posted on our next news update, August 28th.
  • As some of you suggested, we have decided to hold a Permanent Account sale in November.
  • As some of you further suggested, we will offer a la carte purchases of userpics in November. We know this is of great interest to many of you, and we’ll come back to you in October with additional details.
We'll continue to explore different (and we hope) creative methods of generating additional income going forward. As always, we want to hear back from you with your ideas, comments, and suggestions.

Finally, we wanted to try to clear up a recurrent misunderstanding regarding what the difference will be between a Basic Account and a Plus Account after these changes are implemented.

  • Plus accounts will always display ads to all viewers except logged-in Paid and Permanent account holders. This means you will see ads on your own Plus journal anytime you view it, in addition to seeing ads on any other Plus journal you view. In exchange for the display of ads, Plus accounts have access to more features and services than Basic accounts.

  • With a Basic Account, on the other hand, you will not see ads on any Basic journal or community you view (including your own) while you are logged in. However, as before, Basic accounts have less functionality as well as fewer features than a Plus account.
We plan to continue working with you and incorporating your feedback as much as possible to help LiveJournal continue being the dynamic and fun place we all enjoy. Like you, we want LiveJournal to be around for a long time, and we need your help to make that hope a reality.
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Update to Development Priorities

Back in March we provided you with our Development Priorities for 2008, and updated you on the progress we made on the original 100 day plan. We also mentioned we would continue to engage with the community on future plans, and in subsequent updates talked about the Advisory Board elections (April) and Basic Account proposals (July). Thanks to everyone who gave us feedback on all our previous entries. We have read all of your feedback (every single comment), and discussed much that you have put forth with regards to Basic Accounts. We know a lot of you have been awaiting our decision on Basic Accounts, so watch this space for an announcement August 14, 2008. Any changes to Basic Accounts will also affect how we deal with Basic Communities, so you can also expect an update on that.

Our goal on today’s post, though, is to update you on our service performance and product roadmap both in terms of what has been done to date, and what we have planned for the rest of 2008. We know you always hear how we are investing in our services, in performance, product features, and functionality, so we want to share our timeline for some of the more anticipated pieces. This way you can help keep us honest and focused.

First, here is a recap of the development priorities we mentioned in the March update, with a status report on each. You will see that many have broadened in scope to include new product features and enhancements happening through the rest of 2008.


  • Speed and performance - we started using a global CDN (Content Delivery Network) partner, and already achieved a global speed-up of userpic and static content delivery by an average factor of 2x-4x. Enabling compression for JavaScript and CSS allowed us to further increase the speed with which the LJ pages load. We are in process of purchasing servers to be installed at our new co-location facility in Montana. As part of this process, we will be replacing the old equipment with new, more energy-efficient and higher-performance equipment.
  • Back-up – as part of our colo move, we have designed and will implement a remote location in the US for offsite data storage.
  • Search – we are still working on improving search, and have made it a priority for the rest of the year. We are working on three feature sets: a friend search on the site through public email addresses to allow new users to find their friends already on LiveJournal (September), MyJournal search for Paid users, which allows you to search within your journal, and site-wide improved search for interests, tags, and more (December).


  • Engage new users – with all the work we have done over the course of the year to update the site and satisfy our current users, this has honestly taken a back seat to date, but we still have this on our radar.
  • Audio-visual – we are nearing completion of updating the Rich Text Editor for release later this month, but significant improvements to AV posting has been postponed this year as we feel there is more basic functionality (such as search) that we should be concentrating on for the rest of the year.
  • Community platforms – since Release #31, OpenID users with verified email addresses can comment in journals where once only “registered users” could comment.
  • Statistics – this has already been launched for Cyrillic users as a trial service. We plan to roll out parts of the stats package, such as the “My Guests” feature and ratings by the end of the year for all users.
  • Development Center - lj_labs  has been launched as a showcase for internally and externally developed tools and services that integrate with LiveJournal. In addition, we are committed to the integration of OpenSocial throughout our site to improve the customizability of LiveJournal and allow our developer community to create new features that anyone can use. We will be adding new public APIs to support this effort.
  • Account structure – we continue to review structure, as with Basic Accounts, and develop enhancements to existing Sponsored, Paid, and Permanent account levels
  • Editorial – we have recently hired new staff to work on introducing community discoverability for those people with shared community interests. On the flip side, we are going to be introducing new privacy measures to allow users/communities to opt-out of this type of discoverability.
  • Translations – in Release #35 we released an upgrade with enhanced translation system performance.
  • Local partnerships – we are excited to be partnering with in India for a flash-fiction writing contest, to be launched August 11.

Here are some more things we are currently working on this year, aside from those mentioned above:

  • Single-post suspend – as announced in lj_policy  this will be ready in August.
  • Design - we plan a profile redesign for September that should make that page cleaner, clearer, and more user friendly. The design team’s goal is to improve the user interface and user experience in a number of areas including a consolidated settings page, categorization of Journal themes, improving the UI of the v-gifts feature, and rethinking the user experience around community creation and management. Watch lj_design  for updates.
  • Creative Commons implementation – we would love to hear from our users as to how you would like to see this implemented, or if it is a good idea at all. We hope to have more information and a poll on feedback  in the next month.
  • Increase limits for poll votes (specifically those viewable under detailed results), comments allowed per post, bans, friends, and more in October.
  • A la carte purchase of additional userpics to be released in November, and increased limits for free userpics for Plus and Paid accounts
Keep an eye on lj_releases  throughout the year for updates on all of the above.

Finally, we are actively hiring to fill open positions in our offices in San Francisco. We are looking for people with a global perspective, who pride themselves on creativity and personal expression and want to help us move forward with all that we have described above, and much more.
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Basic Accounts

Basic Accounts Proposal
Since the decision in March to remove Basic Accounts, a lot of concern has been expressed by the community about this issue. In the days following that announcement, the LiveJournal team acknowledged that the decision had been badly handled and ill-conceived, and that more time was needed for discussion and consultation before completing the account structure review.

In the past few months, this issue has been the subject of much debate by LiveJournal users, the LiveJournal team, and the Advisory Board (who have met on two separate occasions to discuss the issue, before and after the user elections). We have wrestled with some complex problems: how to generate the revenue we need to support the development of LiveJournal while respecting the community, and how to best integrate advertising into the existing account structure.

Today's post outlines the results of these deliberations and highlights the areas where we are looking for feedback.

Basic Accounts will become available again to all users (new and old accounts) by the end of August, possibly earlier. They will continue to offer basic functionality, and while it is unlikely that they will receive any major upgrades, people who want to use them will be able to do so.

We do, however, need to address the issue of ad placement on LiveJournal. As we made clear in an earlier post, the business needs to generate sufficient revenue to bring the service back up to speed. That means, among other things, offering more commercial opportunities to partners. At the same time, we need to ensure the commitment of the community and foster its growth.

We are considering several options and maintain an open mind as to the next steps we should take. Specifically, we are looking exclusively at adding limited advertising to Basic Accounts viewed in certain circumstances. The areas of potential change are of three different types, which could be implemented in any combination:

Proposal 1: Advertising would be displayed to visitors who are not logged in to LiveJournal at the time when they are looking at Basic Account journals and communities.

Proposal 2: Advertising would be displayed to logged-in Basic Account users when viewing application pages - pages which are not part of a community, a user's journal, profile or friends page (e.g. Update page, Edit Entries page, Manage Tags page).

Proposal 3a: Advertising would be shown to logged-in Basic Account users when viewing a journal which they have not friended or community they are not watching (e.g. if you friend a Basic journal, you do not see advertising; mutual friending is not required to avoid advertising).

Proposal 3b: Advertising would be shown to logged-in Basic Account users when viewing a journal of which they are not a mutual friend or a community of which they are not a member (e.g. if you friend a journal and they do not friend you, or if you watch a community but are not a member, you will see advertising; if you do become mutual friends or a member of a community, then you will no longer see advertising in that journal or community).

We are not proposing to show advertising to Basic Account users when they view their own journals (including their profile and friends page), nor would they see advertising in the Basic Accounts of their mutual friends. Paid and Permanent users will not see ads, as always, and no one will see ads on Paid and Permanent users' journals.

While we hope that the decision to bring back an altered form of the Basic account level is a relief for many users, we understand that any decision to show advertising at all will be an issue for some. On the positive side, we believe that these proposed changes will encourage users to engage with LiveJournal by logging in, creating accounts, joining communities, finding friends and more.

This is an ongoing dialogue that we hope to get off on the right foot. Any suggestions or ideas that would help us find a better middle ground, one which gives us the chance to generate revenue while also satisfying current and future LJ users, will always be welcome!

We'll be gathering your feedback on this issue over the next two weeks, so please give us your opinions by commenting below. We will discuss all points of view internally, with the LiveJournal team and the Advisory Board, and post a decision shortly thereafter; but this, as with all other policy positions we take, are part of an ongoing process and nothing is written in stone. We will implement any changes before the end of August.
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Election Time!

Advisory Board Election

We're about to kick off the election process for the user-representative positions on the Advisory Board. At this time, we'd like to give you the dates and details on how it will work. We will use the communities lj_election_en and lj_election_ru for this process. These communities will be used once a year for elections and nothing else. All happenings will be announced in news so even if you're not watching them you will always be able to participate and know what is going on.

We'll open nominations on Monday, May 5, 2008 and they will close nominations on Wednesday, May 14, 2008. We will post again in news so that all users are aware of it. Users may only nominate themselves; no third-party nominations will be accepted. To nominate yourself, you can make a post to the election community any time during the nomination period. You can take a moment to say why you think you would make a good representative or why you'd like to do so. You may link to your journal or a community with your positions or opinions on issues you feel are important. Posts will be moderated, but the only criteria for such moderation will be that the post follows the above guidelines.

Next, any user who puts themselves forward will need to obtain 100 comments of support in order to become a candidate. We ask each user who would like to support a candidate or candidates to comment stating "I support this nomination" or words to that effect. Once a post has comments of support from 100 different users, we will email the nominee a certification form. The form will line out the responsibilities or commitments that the user-representative will likely have and ask the nominee to certify they are willing and able to serve if elected. In order to be included in the election poll, a nominee will need to return this signed form via fax or email scan by May 16, 2008.

We are aware that people may wish to campaign for this election. We are not instituting any rules or restrictions on campaigning, but we do ask that candidates stay within the LiveJournal Terms of Service (i.e. no spamming, no encouraging others to spam other journals on your behalf, and such activities).

The election poll will be posted from May 22, 2008 through May 29, 2008. We will announce it in news and the polls will be posted in lj_election_en and lj_election_ru. Users will be able to select their first, second, and third choice.

Voting in the poll
Users using the Cyrillic-language service may only vote in the lj_election_ru and all other users may only vote in the lj_election_en poll. Additional restrictions are:
-Only accounts created before March 11, 2008 may vote in this year's poll
-Only one account per email address may vote

Tallying the results
After the polls close on May 29th, we will determine the winner of the elections in the following way:
-If a user has 51% of the first-choice vote, that candidate will be declared the winner
-If no user has 51% of the first-choice vote, we will begin using an Instant Runoff process. The user with the lowest tally for first-choice vote will be eliminated, and the second choice candidate on those ballots will be substituted as first choice. This process will continue (drop lowest candidate, reassign to next vote, tally again) until any user has 51% of the vote.
-If all ballots are exhausted and no candidate has 51% of the vote, we will return to the first round and award the election to the candidate with the most 1st choice votes.

New Advisory Board Members
We'll post the results and announce the winner by the end of the day on Friday, May 30th. The new user-representatives will be seated and begin their terms on June 1, 2008.
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In last week’s announcements we aimed to bring you up to speed on the progress we had made in the first 100 days, and describe how the user elections to our Advisory Board will be managed. Much has happened since the last update we made to the LiveJournal community last Friday.

Since the launch of LiveJournal, Inc., we have been working on creating the best approach to develop the platform and, in particular, communicate with users about how to include you in this process.

The policy we have decided on is simple: first, proposals affecting overall user experience will be posted for comments; then, a final document will be distributed after a period of discussion with final decisions being based on feedback from the Advisory Board and you.

This approach is exactly the one which we took two weeks ago when we published in draft the new LiveJournal Abuse policies and procedures. This document has already gathered around 1700 comments and informal discussions with the Advisory Board have already begun in advance of final publication at the end of May.

The announcement last Wednesday was a mistake in regards to Basic accounts, as the change was not clearly stated, it did not allow for you to provide feedback, and went into effect immediately. Many of you have pointed out that the decision worried you less than the way it was communicated. You should have been given a voice, and you were not; we didn’t follow our own rules, and we apologize.

At this point we are working on a solution to enable existing LiveJournal users to create new Basic accounts as so many of you have requested. Nothing has been decided yet, but we are considering options which would allow existing users to continue to create new Basic accounts.

This post was originally planned to mark the end of the first 100 days and to set out our top development priorities for 2008. We will carefully consider your comments and together with Advisory Board post the final plan after the user elections in May.

Development priorities for 2008

Service performance

  • Speed and performance – Improve LiveJournal speed to ensure that the site delivers pages across the globe to industry standards
  • Back-up – Extend our support and disaster recovery capacity and co-located in Western Europe
  • Search – Enhance LiveJournal’s internal search engine to improve relevance and usability

Product development

  • Engage new users – Devise a guide for new users to encounter and embrace all that is good in LiveJournal
  • Audio-visual – Upgrade the post editor to ensure photo, video and audio posting is effectively supported
  • Community platforms – Promote OpenID with leading community platforms to make LiveJournal even more accessible
  • Statistics – Provide users with in-depth statistics on the popularity of communities and diaries
  • Development center - Launch LJ Labs – the home of new ideas and experiments for alpha testing
  • Account structure – Review structure and develop incentives to upgrade to new account
  • Editorial – Introduce new means to discovering communities and users with shared interests

Global development

  • Translations – Support the existing translation communities to ensure ongoing localization of LiveJournal worldwide
  • Local partnerships – Stimulate growth in LiveJournal communities around the world and develop local services

Open questions

  • Revenue sharing - Should users be rewarded for their content and contributions?
  • Advertising – What are the best ways of integrating commercial opportunities (for both users and brands) into LiveJournal?
  • Subscriptions – Should moderators be able to charge for access to closed communities?
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Advisory Board Elections

Now that we have invited members to be on the Advisory Board, and created a clear mandate for the work of the board, it is time to begin talking about the elections for the user representatives.

To ensure the board members reflect a representative cross section of the LiveJournal community we will hold two separate elections. There will be one user-representative for the Cyrillic language users of LiveJournal (i.e. those who use Russian as their principal language of communication) and another for the non-Cyrillic segment of LiveJournal (i.e. those who use English, German or any of the other main LiveJournal languages). Posts regarding the elections will be announced in news and ru_news. The elections will run at the same time and in the same manner.


The nomination and election process will cover the entire month of May. For the first two weeks, we will have open nominations, and the chance for users to second the nominations. When the nominations close, there will be time for LiveJournal to certify the candidates who have been nominated and for those candidates to communicate with users regarding positions or campaigning. The elections will be open for the entire last week of May. The new LiveJournal User-Representatives on the Advisory Board will be seated on June 1, 2008.


To be considered as a candidate for the Advisory Board elections, a user must be:

  • at least 18 years old as of May 1, 2008
  • nominated and elected using their primary LiveJournal username
  • willing to serve under their full legal name, including having their name recorded on minutes, correspondence, opinions, or other material in relation to their service
  • available to travel to the once-a-year in-person meeting in Istanbul, Turkey the week of the third Wednesday in September (September 17, 2008)
  • available for quarterly conference calls, and for consultation via telephone or email correspondence should a situation arise which would need their advice
  • willing to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement in relation to the work and discussion of the Advisory Board in order to keep the confidential nature of discussions which might arise


To be eligible to vote in the election, a user must have created their account before March 11, 2008. Voting will take place in the form of a poll, which will remain open during the entire last week of May. The winner will be determined via Instant Runoff Voting. This means that users will be able to select their first, second, and third choice candidate. In the event there is no clear majority, the lowest-ranked candidates will be eliminated and the users who selected those candidates as first choice will have their vote re-assigned to their second-choice candidate. That system is repeated until a clear winner is evident.

Serving on the Board

The LiveJournal Advisory Board will meet annually on the third Wednesday/Thursday in September in Istanbul; this year, the week of September 17, 2008. They will hold quarterly conference calls with the management and Board of Directors to consider major issues. LiveJournal will reimburse all travel or related expenses and offer an honorarium, which may be paid directly to the member or to a charity of his or her choosing.

The LiveJournal Advisory Board is independent of the LiveJournal, Inc. management structure. There will be a chairperson appointed by the LiveJournal, Inc. management from the existing (non-user-representative) members of the board for the purposes of convening.

Non-user representatives will serve for a term of two years, after which they can be re-appointed upon mutual agreement. Elected user-representatives will serve for one year, with annual elections held each May. User-representatives can be members of the board for two consecutive terms before being obliged to stand down. Users who have previously been elected to the advisory board can put themselves forward for nomination again once they have spent at least one year off the board.

Should a user-representative of the LiveJournal Advisory Board find themselves unable to perform the necessary duties, he or she shall inform LiveJournal, Inc. management in writing. After his or her resignation has been accepted, the user with the next-highest amount of votes in the final vote tally from the previous election will be asked to take up their position on the advisory board. Should a non-user-representative of the LiveJournal Advisory Board find themselves unable to perform the necessary duties, he or she shall inform LiveJournal, Inc. management in writing. After his or her resignation has been accepted the member will be replaced at the discretion of LiveJournal, Inc. Additionally, there is nothing to preclude current or former user-representatives from being appointed as members of the advisory board in the non-user-representatives positions.

The agenda for meetings and conference calls will be agreed between the LiveJournal, Inc. management and the chairperson of the Advisory Board. Management will respond promptly to any request for documentation and the LiveJournal Advisory Board will have its own independent secretariat.

The LiveJournal Advisory Board may publish position papers by majority vote, including dissenting position papers should LiveJournal management not follow their recommendations. Beyond the posted statements, LiveJournal Advisory Board members will be held to confidentiality and will be required to sign legally binding non-disclosure agreements to protect the integrity of the discussions. Advisory Board members are welcome to discuss their role and work of the board in public forums but are asked to respect the confidential nature of the discussions which take place.

The LiveJournal Advisory Board members previously announced each bring a unique perspective; law, business, knowledge of social media, and LiveJournal history and development. The elections for the LiveJournal user-representatives are intended to provide the unique perspective of the community of LiveJournal. Although there will still be at least one more appointed member, the Advisory Board will be a small group (seven to nine members) which is able to discuss and provide advice on any topic which is now, or becomes in the future, important to LiveJournal.
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We have LiveJournal Advisory Board members to announce!

LiveJournal, Inc. Advisory Board Members

danah boyd

danah boyd is a well-known blogger and researcher of online social media and networking - and is also a LiveJournal user! In addition to her academic and professional work, danah has personal knowledge of fandom and subcultures on LiveJournal. She will be a great advocate for users and a fantastic source of information and advice.

Esther Dyson

With enormous experience, knowledge and enthusiasm, Esther Dyson will be able to provide a perspective as a business owner, author, investor, board member, and philanthropist. She speaks Russian fluently and has been an investor or board member for several companies in Eastern Europe (and has been spending time in India, eastern Asia, and Africa lately, too).

Lawrence Lessig

Lessig brings to the table knowledge and guidance regarding freedom of speech, copyright, and open source software. He's a professor at Stanford Law School, focusing on law and technology - but also an author, columnist, blogger, and corruption-fighter.

Brad Fitzpatrick

As previously announced, Brad Fitzpatrick has agreed to serve on the LiveJournal Advisory Board. Brad invented LiveJournal.

In the coming months, we'll add two users to the Advisory Board and at least one more appointed member. Details on the upcoming user election will be posted soon.

The LiveJournal, Inc. Advisory Board Mandate

The LiveJournal Advisory Board is an international group of informed and trusted leaders from the online community who will advise the management and Board of Directors of LiveJournal, Inc. in the operation and development of the LiveJournal platform.

More specifically, the Advisory Board will also:

Meet, discuss, and post their position on the issues that are important to the community. The board will likely discuss a broad range of topics: freedom of speech, privacy, legality, policy, and security, to name only a few;

Provide guidance to LiveJournal, Inc. management and the Board of Directors on new issues and controversies as they arise;

Speak to and for the users, offering them a voice not only in LiveJournal, Inc., but also on LiveJournal's role in the world;

Oversee ongoing charitable work which the LiveJournal, Inc. Board of Directors supports.
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100 Day Plan

Two weeks ago we announced a 100 Day Plan for LiveJournal, Inc. The team are getting their teeth into this now. Here are just a few of the things that we're working on:

Expanding Collapsed Comment Threads: If you have a paid account, you can have a first-look at a feature which will expand comments threads that have been collapsed. See how you can try it out over at paidmembers.

Rich Text Editor: There's a project underway to improve the functionality of the Rich Text Editor. We're making it easier and more flexible to use.

LJ Home Page: Stay tuned for changes to the home page which will make it easier for you to find communities and news about stuff you are interested in.

Registration Process: We are simplifying the registration process for new accounts to make it faster and easier.

New Site Scheme: Keep an eye out for Lanzelot, a new site scheme, in the coming year!

Your Profile: If you have ever wanted more personalization and customization on your profile page, we think you'll like some of the features we're working on.

Product Development

We are happy to announce that Jason Shellen will be joining the team as our new Vice President of Product Development at LiveJournal, Inc. Jason comes to us with very relevant experience, having been part of Pyra Labs, which created Blogger. In 2003 Google acquired Blogger and Jason went on to work as Product Manager for Google Reader and became part of the Google New Business Development team.

Jason will manage product development for LiveJournal, Inc. and also oversee the pipeline of new products that SUP is producing in other markets around the world. He'll be located out of the LiveJournal, Inc. office in San Francisco.

jasonshellen also worked with brad and the LiveJournal team years ago, in helping to launch the Atom API (geeks will appreciate that)!

Advisory Board

Along with Brad Fitzpatrick and other members of the online community, the two Advisory Board members elected from within the LiveJournal userbase will be asked to advise the LiveJournal, Inc. management on a variety of matters. As a further clarification, they will provide important dialog and consideration of relevant issues (such as taste and decency on the site) in the context of privacy, freedom of expression and other values of great importance to the LiveJournal community.

LiveJournal, Inc. will pay for the user-representatives' travel to the once-a-year in-person board meeting. All LiveJournal users who are 18 or older will be able to run for these positions (regardless of country of residence). Those who choose to run for a position on the Advisory Board should plan to be available for the once-a-year meeting and quarterly conference calls. Additionally, members may need to be consulted via email or ad hoc conference calls should situations arise which need their opinions or guidance.

Early next year we will provide you with information on the nomination and election processes for the two user-elected positions and introduce you to other members of the Advisory Board. We will also be updating you all on our hiring of a new General Manager for LiveJournal, Inc. as well as completed and ongoing projects in our 100-day plan and our search for a new office within the city of San Francisco (yes, we're staying here!). Exciting times are ahead!
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Updates on the LiveJournal Advisory Board

We have seen a lot of interest in the Advisory Board since our announcement on Sunday, and we wanted to give you an update. There were a number of questions that we wanted to take a moment to answer top level to make sure everyone saw them.

Some of you were concerned about the reference to religion in the introductory statement. This was mentioned only in the context of freedom of expression and does not cover any other concerns which you might have had. We want to make it clear that LiveJournal’s rules on freedom of expression remain absolutely unchanged.

Many people wanted to know more about how the Advisory Board. We have taken as the model for this the Wikipedia Board of Trustees (both in terms of the terms of reference and, where appropriate, the election process. The full detailed plans for this will be announced in the new year when a few more people have joined Brad on the Board (we have been in discussions with a number of potential members over the past week and will be speaking to more people throughout this month).

Some of you have asked how and when the board will meet. It will be convened via conference calls on a regular basis and meet physically at least once a year.

For those of you who would like to be considered for one of the two user positions or if you’d like to nominate someone yourself you’ll have to bear with us as we pull the plans into shape, but again, the Wikipedia model is one which we’ll be paying close attention to.

We’ll be consulting users in more detail about both the terms of reference for the Board and the election process soon, so stay tuned .